Inspiring Women's History Month story by Myra Gordon

To many of us, Myra Gordon is an inspiration. Here's the story of someone who inspired her:

My “She-ro” is the late Carol Reitan, the first woman Mayor of Normal and one of the co-founders of so many good things in Bloomington-Normal, including Heartland Theatre and the Illinois Prairie Community Foundation. As the Executive Director of Mid-Central Community Action, she led the effort to create Neville House domestic violence shelter and fostered the development of Operation Recycle, which is now the Ecology Action Center. Carol was always a woman ahead of her time who had the great ability to pull people from across the community and convince them to support her next great idea.

She introduced the City Manager form of government to Normal, mentored and encouraged many of us, including me and Paul and Sandra Harmon and others to be always actively engaged in local political life, and twice ran for the Illinois Senate. Long before solar energy began to gain traction, she ran her own solar energy consulting company, and designed her own passive solar home. She also was one of the co-founders of the Collaborative Solutions Institute. In short, there are many reasons why the Town of Normal honored her by naming its conference center at the Marriott, the Carol A. Reitan Conference Center.

(Photos courtesy of the Pantagraph)